The Illinois University Incubator Network is comprised of university incubators from across Illinois
EnterpriseWorks at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign helps launch successful startup companies; the 43,000 SF facility is at the heart of the Research Park’s community building efforts. Its atrium is a hub of activity and its clients span from biotechnology, chemical sciences, software development, to materials sciences. Through the commercialization of leading research from across the University of Illinois, its startups are working to address challenges with transformative results.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Rebecca Motley, EnterpriseWorks Associate Director of Operations
Since its opening in 2007, the Peoria NEXT Innovation Center has been a home to a group of innovators and entrepreneurs who are looking to turn their ideas and innovations into commercial enterprises. The building can house up to 27 start-up companies in three different levels. Currently, the companies who are tenants at the center specialize in a range of fields, including: medical devices, mechanical engineering, molecular studies, biofuels and information technology.
Michael Stubbs, Director
Located in the heart of Chicago’s south side on the Illinois Institute of Technology campus, University Technology Park (UTP) is one of the nation’s fastest-growing hubs for high-tech innovation. UTP leased space to its first tenants in October 2005 and celebrated its official opening in November 2006. Since then it has provided space and support for nearly 60 startups who are creating jobs and opportunities in Chicago and beyond.
Illinois Institute of Technology
Josh Siegel, Director
EIGERlab is northern Illinois’ comprehensive resource where both new and existing entrepreneurs and inventors collaborate with pioneering leaders to incubate and accelerate businesses. EIGERlab ties together Innovation-Collaboration-Entrepreneurship into a centrally located, state of the art mixed-use incubator, serving the region with leading edge business and engineering support services. The facility and programs assist in the development of a robust and diverse entrepreneurial culture through the collaboration of education, business and government.
Northern Illinois University
Stacey Bernardi, Director
Located in the Illinois Medical District, the Technology Innovation Lab is a startup incubator that supports UIC and community entrepreneurs looking to grow their ideas and technologies into sustainable businesses. The 12,000 square foot facility houses shared wet and dry laboratory space, co-working and office space, and programming and events to support early stage technology startups.
University of Illinois at Chicago
Cynthia Faullin, Director
A hub of entrepreneurship and student innovation at Northwestern University, The Garage is currently home to 60 student-founded startups per academic quarter. The community of students, faculty, staff and alumni share a passion for new ideas, helping to make the Garage the perfect place to let these ideas grow. Over 1000 students, faculty and staff visit The Garage each month for classes, workshops and other events. One of these programs includes Wildfire that helps to prepare students for the next phase of their start-ups.
The Incubator at SIU helps innovators accelerate the start-up and expansion of businesses in southern Illinois. Founded in 1990 with help from the Office of Economic and Regional Development to help the growth of small businesses in southern Illinois, the incubator has assisted more than 50 organizations to get off the ground and grow. Management of the incubator is provided by the Illinois Small Business Development Center, which provides free assistance to entrepreneurs such as one-on-one consulting and workshops.
Southern Illinois University
Deborah Barnett, Director
The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation aims to accelerate the commercialization of research and supports new ventures and ideas. Since 1996, the center has helped more than 160 companies worldwide that have earned more than $4 billion in mergers and exits and raised $575 million in funding. Its resources include a 34,000 square-foot, multi-disciplinary co-working space called the Polsky Exchange; a $20 million Innovation Fund that invests in early-stage ventures; and a state-of-the-art Fabrication Lab for prototyping new products.
University of Chicago
Innovate Springfield is a non-profit organization that aims to fuel and cultivate a culture of innovation and economic development in the greater Springfield, Illinois region. They achieve this through three main programs: the business incubator, a place for entrepreneurs to grow their businesses; Sangamon CEO, a yearlong course empowering high school students to become entrepreneurs; and a social innovation incubator non-profits and service providers in the community.
University of Illinois at Springfield
Sarah Beth Ayers, Business Incubation Program Director
The Helix 51 Incubator at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, located in North Chicago, Illinois, is the only wet lab-based incubator in Lake County, the heart of Illinois’ human bioscience community with 122 bioscience companies and 33,000 bioscience jobs. The name Helix 51 stems from the discovery of the helical structure of DNA as identified by scientist Rosalind Franklin in her famous photo 51. The incubator was inaugurated in May 2019 and currently has 5 lab-based bioscience companies and an additional 5 faculty or regional companies. Plans are underway to expand capacity in the new Innovation and Research Park which opened in February 2020, for an additional 9 start-up companies or international “soft-landing” candidates. The incubator offers shared scientific equipment, access to RFU’s multiple research cores, conference rooms, Entrepreneurs-In Residence, interns and other support programs and amenities.
North Chicago, IL
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
Michael Rosen, Managing Director
Northeastern Illinois University’s Business Innovation and Growth (BIG) Center, launched in Fall 2018, has already provided entrepreneurship training and support for more than 40 bootstrapping entrepreneurs and their start-ups and established businesses, as well as in-class, hands-on, real-world entrepreneurship experiences for more than 150 NEIU students, working on the entrepreneurs’ projects. The BIG Center’s business growth training for Main Street businesses has already helped entrepreneurs in more than 20 industries including specialty food products, education, health care, manufacturing, importing, consulting, real estate, retail, broadcast media and technology.
Northeastern Illinois University
Ignite Lab, at Loyola University Chicago, enables students, staff, and faculty the ability to turn their entrepreneurial ideas into a reality. Since 2018, the center has been connecting its members to recognize opportunities, develop new business ideas, and launch new ventures. Ignite Lab is also a proud partner with over 40 community mentors who bring valuable skills and backgrounds to the center’s members.
Loyola University Chicago